Boundaries are set by learning to say NO. If you don’t know how to say NO you need to practice. The word ‘NO’ allows you to respect yourself, and for others to respect you. Practice with a friend you trust, let them know you want to learn how to say NO. Take a half an hour and do this for several days. After a couple of days try this in public. Desensitize yourself by saying NO to EVERYTHING they ask you to do. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, see a coach/therapist. If you are in a relationship and you trust your relationship and want to grow your relationship, then both of you can work on this with a coach/therapist. Learning to overcome low self-esteem and boundary issues can be one of the most useful lessons in your life.
Questions about what boundaries are important to you
Write down the boundaries that you would like to have.
What are you not willing to accept in a relationship? This will help you define your boundaries.
What is it that you say yes to, when you want to be saying no to?
What do you want to say no to right now but can’t get the words out?
Take a look at your relationship pattern, what is it that you want to change?
Communicate with your partner
These are your boundaries; you need to communicate them to your relationship. You may not be able to communicate your boundaries off a list. The most important thing in a relationship is trust and respect. Constraints help you establish those. If you are iffy on some of your constraints, talk to your relationship about those. But when something comes up and it feels uncomfortable you need to speak up, learn to trust your gut. Tell your relationship that something is not working for you. Call a time out and let them know. We all have things in our past that were uncomfortable with, and if those buttons are being pushed we need to expose them and STOP. Boundaries force you to be accountable and take responsibility for your own happiness, or your misery.
Don’t set your partner up to fail
On the other hand don’t set-up your date by getting drunk or stoned. If they are drunk, then it is time to leave. Ask yourself if you are willing to compromise yourself. Alcohol and drugs can cloud any one’s behavior. Don’t put yourself in that position until you have built trust and respect.
Don’t be scared of having constraints. Boundaries help you from being a pushover. Knowing your limits helps you have a happier life. If you are scared of being alone, remember the healthier you are, the easier it is to attract people who care about you and who you can trust. When you begin to identify, “the wrong” type of people, it becomes easier to identify the “right type” of people.
Meet the “right type” of people
If you decide that you want to meet the “right type” of people, then you need to go where you can meet them. This may include workshops, where people are working on themselves. Join organizations where you can be active in meeting others. Check out MeetUp groups that offer the kind of activities you like to do. If you are not meeting the “right type” of people you need to change your hangouts. Start making new friends. If you are considering online dating, be leery of cheap online dating sites. Generally the more you pay, the higher the quality of people.
Live by your boundaries
The important thing is that you need to have personal guideline so that if something happens you know what to do; you need to ensure that you enforce boundaries because that is the true test of them – that you live by them. It’s incredibly empowering and what you’ll find surprising is that saying no or opting out of situations that cross your boundaries, actually feels good.